British singer responds to Trump invitation

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Rebecca Ferguson performs on stage during The Magic of Christmas at London Palladium on November 27, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Luca V. Teuchmann/Getty Images)

Former X Factor runner-up Rebecca Ferguson says she has been asked to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony.

The star said she would “graciously accept” the invitation to take part in the 20 January event in Washington DC if she can sing Strange Fruit.

Strange Fruit is a song that protests against racism, particularly the lynching of African-Americans in the early 20th century.

It was recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939 but had previously been written as a poem by teacher Abel Meeropol.

The track has “huge historical importance” and used to be “blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial”, according to Ferguson.

In a Twitter post, she said the song “speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the US” and is “a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world”.

Donald Trump said Vladimir Putin's decision not to expel US diplomats was a 'great move'
Image Caption:Donald Trump will be sworn-in as US President on 20 January

The 2010 X Factor runner-up released an album covering Billie Holiday songs in 2015, although Strange Fruit does not feature as one of the tracks.

It is not known who will perform at the President-elect’s swearing-in ceremony in the US capital later this month.

But reports in America suggest a number of high-profile musicians have turned down invitations, including Celine Dion and opera star Andrea Bocelli.

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